The previous post referred to the vine maple as the source of the brightest reds in the lowland Olympics. Here’s a good example (above) as compared to big leaf maple and its yellows (below).
The Dosewallips River drains the central section of the eastern Olympics. The road has been washed out for years and now makes a gentle hike for 6 miles into the Olympic National Park. While Washington State is not known for nice displays of fall colors, this year in the Olympics was particularly good. More yellows than reds … except for vine maples. Here you see mostly big leaf maples and their yellows.
The Dungeness River runs north out of the Olympic Mountains into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are no dams and the water is clear (no glaciers in this section of the Olympics). The Upper Dungeness trail runs along the river for the first couple miles before climbing to higher elevation. It is a very pleasant hike, the river cools the air even on warm days.
Camp Handy is in the Buckhorn Wilderness area of the Olympic National Forest on the Upper Dungeness. It’s about 3.4 miles in from the trailhead and a pleasant hike. That increases the number of folks that visit. When I was there … a small group of boy scouts showed up to fish the Dungeness River. Instead of camping in a spot off the meadow, I retreated back into the woods where there were several isolated camps (see below). I could walk 30 feet or so and be out in a small meadow (the bright area on the right side of the image). And, I couldn’t hear the scouts.
It was a good camp … only marred by the fact that my self-inflating air mattress had got a hole in it since I last slept on it. A big enough hole that it deflated in less than 10 minutes when I was laying on it. I used the sitting pad (on the log in the photo below) and instead of staying two nights, I only stayed one.
I saw this butterfly landing on yarrow up at Camp Handy while out backpacking in the Olympic National Forest. Was glad it stayed around long enough for a photo or two. (confession: I had to look up the identification in a book on my return home)